1. What do I do?

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coffee

Besides drinking vast quantities of caffeine, I have taught, developed and managed various Information Technology (IT) and computer programming courses at triOS College in Ontario (Canada) since 1998 in both our college and corporate training divisions.

Back in 2011, I took on a different title of Dean of Technology to salvage our video game programs, and it turned into a more strategic role where I was able to help shape the development of our programs and curriculum in the following faculties:

  • Information Technology
  • Application Development (Enterprise/Web/Mobile)
  • Video Game Design and Development
  • Video Game Design Technologies

It also allowed me to build some exciting opportunities for our students, run over a dozen sponsored game jams and hackathons for our students, communicate program information to others in the college, as well as meet with vendors, employers, internship hosts, and other colleges.

From the beginning of 2011, I made it my goal to “walk the talk” in every facet of technology and technology education so that I could steer each of our programs in the right direction. I definitely achieved that goal early on… I was movin' and shakin' and loved every minute of it!

In 2015, however, the organization decided that I should give up 90% of that stuff and return to the classroom. Being a seasoned instructor, this also meant that my job suddenly got a lot easier! I used that opportunity to ramp up my involvement in extra-curricular projects. Since 2015, I’ve tackled 2+ projects per year that were far out of my comfort zone in order to stay at the top of my game, technology-wise. It’s incredibly rewarding, and something I highly recommend for anyone in a technical field as a result!

Nowadays, my role at the college is far less clearly-defined. I still have the same title (Dean of Technology), but I’m currently an instructor that does some IT curriculum development when I’m not helping other instructors, running faculty calls for IT and Application Development, requesting program/course changes, or letting people in the organization know why something worked or didn’t work in our technology programs.

Most of the courses that I’ve taught in the past are part of our Information Technology (IT) program, but I’ve also taught many programming courses (VB, C, C++, JAVA, JavaScript, ObjectiveC) as well as some video game programming courses too (math/physics, C++, ActionScript, Unity/C#, Android, XNA), mainly to fill in for an instructor who needed vacation or a leave of absence to work on a side project.

Back in 2013, I was awarded the annual Excellence in Teaching award from the Ontario Association of Career Colleges (OACC). It was the first year that OACC started giving this award, and I was absolutely thrilled to be the first person to win it (I essentially beat out every other career college teacher in Ontario). For me, it was the ultimate validation that I had achieved excellence in my career path! And this was followed up in 2019 when my fellow instructor peers worldwide voted for me to receive the Outstanding Train The Trainer Instructor award from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) for my CompTIA Linux+ instructor training. The sheer amount of kudos I got from my peers after receiving this award made me smile from ear to ear!

award pics

Teaching is not always easy - it generally requires a lot of prep work, including mastery of the underlying technologies used within the course, as well as superb communication, presentation, and interpersonal interaction skills. It’s not for everyone, but I’ve always loved it, and it seems to come naturally to me (at least that’s what other people tell me, which is a nice compliment to receive).

Since industry certification has been a hiring benchmark in IT for well over a decade, most of the IT-related courses that I’ve taught are certification-focused, and I’ve had to obtain a bunch of them as a result over the past 20 years:

  • Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+)
  • Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT)
  • Master Certified Novell Instructor (MCNI)
  • SCO Authorized Instructor
  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)
  • Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
  • Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)
  • Modern Desktop Administrator (MDA)
  • Master Certified Novell Expert (MCNE)
  • SCO Master ACE (Advanced Certified Engineer)
  • Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)
  • LPI (Linux Professional Institute) Certified
  • Linux+ Certified
  • Java 2 Developer Certified
  • Sun Solaris Systems Administrator Certified
  • Sun Solaris Network Administrator Certified
  • HP-UX Certified
  • A+ Certified
  • Net+ Certified
  • IT Project+ Certified
  • Server+ Certified
  • Security+ Certified
  • CySA+ Certified
  • CyberSecurity First Responder Certified
  • CIW Certified Server Administrator
  • Cisco CCNA & CCNP
  • Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist (ACHDS)
  • Apple Certified Desktop Technician (ACDT)
  • Apple Certified Portable Technician (ACPT)
  • BlackBerry Certified Support Specialist (BCSS)
  • BlackBerry Certified Server Support Specialist (BCSSS)
  • BlackBerry Certified System Administrator (BCSA)

In addition to college courses, I’ve also taught many programming and IT courses in the corporate space for triOS. Corporate training was typically done on site at the client’s location, which meant I got to see many different organizations, including AECL, LCBO, Mackenzie Financial, Homewood Sanitarium, and more. Some of the corporate course topics I’ve taught include:

  • Linux administration
  • UNIX (Solaris, HP-UX, AIX) administration
  • C, C++ and Java programming
  • PERL & Shell scripting
  • Parallelization techniques
  • FORTRAN programming UNIXGURU license plate

My computing background has largely revolved around UNIX/Linux systems and related programming. I cut my teeth on a variety of UNIX systems back in the 80s and 90s (DEC VAX, SUN, NeXT, HP PA-RISC, SGI) and was one of the first Linux authors on the academic textbook market. Most of the projects I work on outside of my day job today involve BSD UNIX or Linux in the cloud.

I’m also the only licensed UNIX guru in Ontario. For a UNIX/Linux-style bio, click here.